Watch the 2017 Super Bowl Ads

I was really looking forward to seeing the Falcons match up against the Patriots in the Super Bowl.  The second half of Super Bowl 51 was exciting to say the least.  It’s hard to imagine a better way for Tom Brady to get his 5th Super Bowl ring.  While the first quarter wasn’t the most exciting, it was a great defensive match up. The Falcons took off only to be caught and finally lose in overtime.  Then there are always the commercials which never fail to entertain.  There were some good ones this year.  My favorites included ads from GoDaddy, Bai with Christopher Walken and Justin Timberlake, Ford, Mr. Clean. and Airbnb.  You can view them all on YouTube.

Bai commercial

Here’s some help if you are currently in a location that blocks YouTube.

How using a VPN can help you unblock YouTube?

Let’s see how a personal VPN service can help you access YouTube  from anywhere in the world:

  • A virtual private network (VPN) gives to access to IP addresses in the United States.
  • Your web traffic is routed through a secure tunnel to help ensure your privacy.
  • Since speed is critical for streaming, a VPN can help you achieve better performance.

As you can see a good privacy service will help secure your connection with a US IP address.  Giving you access to YouTube no matter where you might be physically located at the time.

Connecting to YouTube through a VPN

We’ll guide you through signing up for a VPN service and connecting to YouTube from outside the US.  We recommend a fast VPN connection for streaming videos.  There are lots of VPN providers that can’t support the bandwidth necessary for YouTube.  Two of our favorites for speed and reliability are IPVanish and SrongVPN.

We’ll be using IPVanish in our tutorial since they have very fast VPN servers in the United States.   The first thing you’ll want to do is get an account.  You can sign up for unlimited VPN access from $4.54 a month.

IPVanish 2017 Editors Choice Award

After you sign up watch for the welcome email.  Once received you can either follow the link in the email or go to IPVanish.com and download their client software.  IPVanish offers a free VPN client for Windows and Mac.  Along with set up guides for iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed the IPVanish client go ahead and launch it.  You’ll see this screen:

IPVanish Windows 2.0 client

From here you can choose a server location in the U.S. or another country with uncensored access to YouTube.  For me the servers in the United States are the fastest but IPVanish also performs very well in other areas of North America and throughout Europe so you really can’t go wrong when selecting a server location.

We won’t make things too technical.  Feel free to connect to any IPVanish server.  They offer locations throughout the United States.  If you ever want an IP from elsewhere they offer servers in 63 countries.  As a member you can switch between locations anytime.  With up to two simultaneous connections.

You’ll notice a dropdown box at the top of the client for OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP.  These are the protocols used to secure your connection.  You can test them to see which one works best from your location.  For streaming content like YouTube we recommend OpenVPN (UDP) for the best performance.

That’s all there is to it.  The VPN will also help you gain access to Sling TV, Hulu, Skype, Twitter, Facebook and other sites.  Follow us @VPNSP for more how-to guides along with VPN reviews and discount offers.

Watch NFL Games from Anywhere

It’s that time of year again.  College football is heating up and the NFL season is well underway.  If you’re lucky enough to be in the U. S. then Sunday Ticket will give you access to all the games.  That is unless you travel during the season.  We’ve been there.  You have to travel outside the United States during the NFL season and hate missing your favorite team play.  Or perhaps you live abroad and want access to NFL games.

NFL Games

It really comes down to where you live.  In the U. S. you can subscribe to DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket.  If you currently live outside the U. S. and Mexico the NFL offers Game Pass and Game Rewind.  You can subscribe to Game Pass to watch NFL games live all season long.  While Game Rewind will let you watch them the next day.

If you live in the U. S. and plan to travel during the season then we suggest you use a VPN service.  This will allow you to securely tunnel back to a server in the U. S. where you can enjoy your favorite team while abroad.

Streaming NFL Games with a VPN service

Personal VPN’s are meant to be easy to use.  You’ll want a fast connection for streaming NFL games.  There are quite a few companies out there that are good but just can’t meet the bandwidth needs.  Two of our favorites for fast, reliable VPN access are IPVanish and OverPlay.  Both have quite a few US server locations.

We’ll be using IPVanish since they have the fastest VPN connections in the United States.   First you’ll want to sign up for access.  IPVanish is kindly offering our visitors unlimited VPN from just $4.54 a month which is a great value.

IPVanish Special

After you become a member, IPVanish will send a welcome email with your account information.  From there you’ll want to visit their site and download the VPN client.  IPVanish has free VPN software for Windows and Mac.  They also provide and Android app and set up guides for iPhone and iPad.

Once you have the IPVanish client downloaded and installed go ahead and fire it up.

IPVanish USA

From here you’ll want to choose a US server location that provides the best download speed.  I have the map view up above but for this purpose you can also view the full list of servers under the list tab.  Once on the list screen you’ll have access to every IPVanish server.  Take notice of the ping time and load percentage.  The lower the ping time the better in terms of performance.  Choose a server location in the United States and hit connect.

We’ll keep it non technical.  You can connect to any IPVanish server and switch between them anytime.  They offer locations throughout the United States.  If you want an IP from elsewhere they have VPN servers located in 60 different countries.  IPVanish allows five simultaneous connections which is great for mobile devices.

The IPVanish client supports OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP protocols.  You can select which protocol is used to access the servers.  Test each of them out to see which one works best from your location.  For streaming NFL games and other media we recommend OpenVPN (UDP).  We enjoy the best results using it.

An IP in the US will unblock access to football along with many more geo restricted sites.  Follow us on Twitter @VPNSP for more how-to guides along with VPN reviews and specials.

Which VPN Providers Unblock BBC iPlayer?

That’s the question that was posed to our team over the weekend, which VPN providers still work to unblock BBC iPlayer?  For years now millions of VPN users have enjoyed access to content on BBC iPlayer.  However, over the last few weeks the BBC has been trying their best to block VPNs from accessing their streaming service.  Fortunately there are still some large, well known VPN providers that have avoided the block.  We’re going to share a list of a few top-rated VPNs that will help you unlock access to BBC iPlayer.

BBC iPlayer blocked

As you can see in the screenshot above, BBC iPlayer TV programmes are available to play in the UK only.  In the past you could simply connect to a VPN server in the United Kingdom and enjoy unrestricted access.  Now you have to choose the right VPN provider and even then it’s always possible the BBC will block access in the future.  It’s a cat and mouse game.  We suspect the BBC will continue to block IP address ranges in an attempt to curtail VPN use.  In response VPN services will continue to find other ways around the blocks.

Just to be clear it doesn’t matter whether or not you are located in the United Kingdom.  Even if you reside in the UK and want to watch BBC iPlayer while protected by a VPN, it’s now an issue for many providers.  It doesn’t seem at all right that the BBC is blocking their own users from protecting their online privacy but they likely find it necessary in order to block the millions of non-UK residents streaming content through the service.  Luckily there are still some VPN providers that support BBC iPlayer.  In a moment I’ll list a few that we have tested.  Please bookmark this page for future updates.  We will try to list at least three VPNs at all times so you always have multiple choices in case one or more get blocked in the future.

Unblock BBC iPlayer with there VPN Providers

We have tested and can confirm that as of Monday, October 19, 2015 the following VPN providers support BBC iPlayer.  As always you will want to connect to a VPN server in the UK to access the site.  Otherwise you will receive a message like the one above and be blocked from viewing BBC content.

VPN providers that passed the test and will unblock BBC iPlayer:

We also tested Private Internet Access, VyprVPN, and PureVPN but none of them were able to play BBC iPlayer.  PIA and VyprVPN were blocked.  PureVPN wasn’t blocked but they appeared to be having issues.  Every show we tried to stream with PureVPN would hang with the wheel of death so we never made it past the buffering.  Once again this is a work in progress as VPN providers try to stay one step ahead.  We’ll continue to update this post as changes come about.  You can follow us @VPNSP for the latest VPN news and deals.

Which VPN Services Support Windows 10?

Microsoft released Windows 10 in early August.  This is the first operating system that Microsoft has offered as a free upgrade.  They have also committed to 10 years of free support for the OS.  In response over 75 million users quickly upgraded to Windows 10.  If you’ve gone through the Windows upgrade process in the past then you know that applications that worked before the upgrade can have issues when you finish.  This is true of VPN software as well.  Today we’re going to provide you with a list of VPN services that officially support Windows 10 along with some tips to make your transition as easy as possible.

Windows 10

If you haven’t already upgraded I would suggest looking at our list of Windows 10 VPNs first.  That way you have everything ready before the update.  However, I know that many of you reading his post have already upgraded and are experience issues with their VPN.  If you fall into that category we have some suggestions.  For those who upgraded with a VPN already installed we suggest you take the following steps:

  1. Uninstall your current VPN client software
  2. Visit your provider’s website and confirm they support Windows 10
  3. Download the latest release of their Windows software
  4. Install the new client software
  5. Configure any advanced features

The key is to make sure you are running the right version of VPN software.  Most of the questions we’ve had either relate to VPNs that aren’t ready for Windows 10 or those who have old VPN client software.  It’s best to cleanly install the new software.  If you are currently running Windows 7 or 8 then we suggest you uninstall your VPN client prior to the upgrade.  Once on Windows 10 go ahead and download the latest release of the VPN client from your provider and install it.  That will bring better results than trying to upgrade the previous version.

Here’s a list of VPN services that we’ve confirmed offer support for Windows 10:

The names above also represent some of the largest VPN services in the world so you can expect them to stay on top of operating system updates.  These same providers are often the first to support new versions of Mac, iOS, and Android updates.  Since most of us want privacy protection across multiple devices it helps to have a VPN that is responsive to new updates.

Are you a VPN provider with support for Windows 10?  If so send us a tweet @VPNSP and we’ll gladly add you to the list.

Watch College Football Online

It’s time for the 2015 college football season to kick off. The second year playoff system will draw even more attention this year as top teams like Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn, and your favorite teams leave it all on the field to win the championship. Watch and enjoy all the exciting college football action from anywhere in the world and avoid blackout rules using a VPN or Smart DNS service. Watch every exciting moment of the 2015 season and unblock sites around the world with OverPlay’s SmartDNS service for just $3.12 a month.

OverPlay SmartDNS

Let’s start with a brief explanation of Smart DNS. When you use a SmartDNS service like OverPlay it reroutes your connection so sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer will think you’re eligible to access their geographically restricted content. I don’t want to confuse you. Some sites are free to use like BBC while you’ll still need a subscription to services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. The real magic of SmartDNS is being able to access these sites and services from anywhere in the world. Avoiding geo-restrictions along the way.

Now let’s specifically look at OverPlay as they are a leading provider of Smart DNS. I use them and highly recommend both their SmartDNS and VPN services. The difference is encryption. A VPN service changes your IP address and encrypts your data. Adding a layer of privacy and anonymity with some impact to speed. SmartDNS simply routes you around geo-restrictions without the speed loss. OverPlay will help unblock sites like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, ESPN, BBC iPlayer, iTV Player, Pandora, Facebook, Twitter and more.

Hopefully I’ve given you some insight on how useful a Smart DNS service is to watch live events like college football along with all the other great content it opens up. You can read our OverPlay review to learn more about their service. For those looking to sign up and enjoy SmartDNS access right now OverPlay is offering a promo with 25% off VPN and SmartDNS access. Enjoy unblocked access to live events and content around the world.

Visit VPNSP.com to learn more about Smart DNS. Follow us @VPNSP for the latest news and deals.

Watch the Premier League Online

The opening match of the 2015 Premier League is coming up this weekend.  Don’t miss all the action as the best football clubs compete for the Barclays Premier League Trophy.  If you’re a fan of the sport but haven’t had access to most the Premier League matches in the past that’s about to change.  Watch every exciting moment of the 2015 season and unblock sites with OverPlay’s SmartDNS service for just $3.12 a month.

Premier League

Smart DNS may be a new term to you so let’s quickly explain how it works. OverPlay’s SmartDNS service routes your data so that websites like BBC iPlayer (a great site to watch the Premier League games) and Netflix think you’re in the right location to be eligible to access the site. I don’t want to confuse you. Some sites are free to use like BBC while you still need to be a member of services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. The advantage of SmartDNS is the ability to access sites around the world. Avoiding geographical restrictions along the way.

Now let’s take a closer look at OverPlay since they offer the best Smart DNS. I use them and have been very happy with both their SmartDNS and VPN services. The difference is encryption. The VPN will change your IP address and encrypt your data. Adding a layer of privacy and anonymity at some cost to performance. While SmartDNS routes you around geo-restrictions without the speed loss. OverPlay will help unblock sites like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, BBC iPlayer, iTV Player, Pandora, Facebook, Twitter and more.

Hopefully I’ve given you an idea of how useful a Smart DNS service is for watching live events like Premier League matches along with all the other sites and services it opens up. You can read our OverPlay review to learn more about the service. For those looking to sign up and enjoy SmartDNS access OverPlay is currently offering 25% off all plans. Enjoy unblocked access to live events and content around the world.

Visit VPNSP.com to learn more about Smart DNS services. Follow us @VPNSP for the latest news and deals.

Watch Orange is the New Black

Netflix just released the much anticipated third season of their popular Orange is the New Black series.  Fans can jump right into the first episode of the season.  Netflix picked a perfect time for release.  The weekend will give many fans ample time to watch all 13 episode.  You know it’s true!  If you haven’t had a chance to watch Orange is the New Black this is a great time to catch up.  The series is only available via Netflix.  If you happen to be traveling or find the show is blocked in your country then a good VPN service will take care of it.

Orange is the New Black

How does a VPN help unblock Netflix?

Let’s look at how a VPN service can help you stream Netflix from outside the United States:

  • VPN allows you to acquire and use an IP address in the United States.
  • All traffic is routed through a secure tunnel to help ensure your privacy.
  • A fast connection is necessary for streaming.  VPN can help you achieve the best performance.

A good VPN service will allow you to tunnel to a server in the US and enjoy Netflix from anywhere in the world.  Allowing you to view movies and television shows as if you were sitting in the United States.

Connecting to Netflix using a VPN service

We’ll walk you through signing up with a reliable VPN provider and connecting to Netflix from outside the US.  You will want a fast connection for streaming HD content.  There are quite a few VPN companies that won’t meet your bandwidth needs.  Two of our favorites for fast, reliable access are IPVanish and OverPlay.

We’ll be using IPVanish since they have the fastest VPN connections in the United States.   The first thing you’ll want to do is sign up for access.  Enjoy unlimited VPN from IPVanish for just $4.87 a month with our coupon.

IPVanish

After you sign up IPVanish will send a welcome email with your account information.  From there you’ll want to visit their site and download the free VPN software.  IPVanish offers VPN clients for Windows and Mac.  They also have free mobile apps for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) and Android devices.

Once you have the IPVanish client downloaded and installed go ahead and launch it.  You’ll see this screen:

IPVanish Mac client - map of servers

From here you want to select the US server location that provides the best download speed.  As you can see the IPVanish client will let you select from a map view.  You can zoom in on any area.  For streaming services like Netflix I would recommend connecting to a server in Ashburn, Virgina.  They have servers in several US cities.  I use OpenVPN (UDP) for streaming HD content.  The protocol is both fast and secure.

We won’t make things too technical.  Connect to any IPVanish server and switch between them at will.  They offer locations throughout the United States.  If you ever want an IP from elsewhere they have VPN servers located in 63 different countries.  You can have up to two simultaneous connections which is great for mobile devices.

IPVanish supports OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP protovols.  You can test them out to see which one works best from your location.  For streaming services like Netflix we recommend OpenVPN (UDP) as we’ve seen the best performance using it.

That’s all there is to it.  An IP in the US also gives you access to Hulu, Pandora, Skype, Facebook and many more sites.  Follow us on Twitter @VPNSP for more how-to guides along with VPN reviews and promotions.

BBC Global iPlayer Closing : Find Alternatives

The team at BBC has decided to discontinue Global iPlayer.  The BBC Global iPlayer service will close for good between May 26, 2015 and June 26, 2015.  If you are currently a member you can expect access to end on the day of your next renewal.  That means ex-pats around the world will be without their favorite BBC content.  I would imagine many of them will turn to VPN to continue watching their favorite films and shows.

BBC Global iPlayer Message

Find alternatives to BBC Global iPlayer

Regardless of where you live there are alternatives for viewing BBC content.  While the Global BBC iPlayer service was a convenience you can still enjoy your favorite shows by using one of the following options.

Option 1 – VPN

The first alternative to BBC Global iPlayer would be to use a VPN service like IPVanish or ExpressVPN.  Both are good options since they have large networks and fast servers in the UK.  You can watch BBC iPlayer from any country by using a VPN.  The key is to connect to a VPN server in the United Kingdom.  That will assign you an IP address in the UK.  From there you can watch BBC iPlayer and stream from other sites in the UK as well.

Option 2 – Smart DNS

A second alternative to BBC Global iPlayer is Smart DNS.  Think of SmartDNS as similar to VPN.  The difference is encryption.  A VPN will protect your privacy by encrypting you data.  That opens access to content in other countries and offers the additional benefit of privacy protection.  A SmartDNS on the other hand does not encrypt your data.  It’s sole purpose is to circumvent geo-blocks to content in other countries.  In this case it would open access to BBC iPlayer.  I would suggest you look at Unblock Us and OverPlay for Smart DNS service.

Option 3 – Netflix

Our third and final BBC Global iPlayer alternative is Netflix.  This comes in a distant third because you would still need a VPN or Smart DNS to access Netflix content in the UK.  However, if you find that Netflix carries your favorite BBC films or shows in a certain region you can use a VPN or SmartDNS to open access to any Netflix region.  We would suggest starting with option 1 and working your way down the list until you find the solution that best fits your needs.

How to Unblock HBO NOW

With a latest season of Game of Thrones just days away we wanted to share a guide for accessing the new HBO NOW service from anywhere in the world.  If you live or travel outside of the US then you probably know popular streaming services block access.  Like Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, HBO NOW and many more.  You can use a VPN service to unblock the restrictions and watch anywhere.  We’ll show you how to unblock them all.

HBO NOW

Have you ever tried to access HBO NOW from outside the US?  If so the site looks fine until you try to watch a show.  When you try to stream a show the service will fail if you are connected from an IP address outside the United States.  That’s where a VPN comes in.  You can connect to a US VPN server and enjoy your favorite HBO shows.

Let’s take a look at how easy it is to get around this geographic restriction.

How can a VPN help unblock HBO NOW?

Let’s look at how a personal VPN can help you stream HBO NOW from outside the United States:

  • VPN helps you to get an IP address from a server in the United States.
  • Your data is then routed through a secure tunnel to protect your online privacy.
  • A fast connection is important for streaming.  A good VPN can support the speed.

A reliable privacy service will allow you to connect to a server in the US and enjoy HBO NOW from anywhere in the world.  Allowing you to view the full selection of movies and shows as if you were sitting in the United States.

Connecting to HBO NOW with a VPN service

Personal VPN’s are meant to be easy to use.  You’ll want a fast connection for streaming HD content.  There are quite a few companies out there that are good but just can’t meet the bandwidth needs.  Two of our favorites for fast, reliable VPN access are IPVanish and OverPlay.  Both have quite a few US server locations.

We’ll be using IPVanish since they have the fastest VPN connections in the United States.   First you’ll want to sign up for access.  IPVanish offers unlimited VPN from just $4.87 a month which is a great value.

IPVanish coupon

After you become a member, IPVanish will send a welcome email with your account information.  From there you’ll want to visit their site and download the VPN client.  IPVanish has VPN software for Windows and Mac.  They also have custom iPhone, iPad, and Android VPN apps.

Once you have the IPVanish client downloaded and installed go ahead and fire it up.

IPVanish Windows 2.0 client

From here you’ll want to choose a US server location that provides the best download speed.  We’ve connected to quite a few of the locations.  It depends on where you are located.  IPVanish ha an expansive network of VPN in the United States so you have a lot of options to choose from.  I like using their server in Ashburn, Virginia.

We’ll keep it non technical.  You can connect to any IPVanish server and switch between them anytime.  They offer locations throughout the United States.  If you want an IP from elsewhere they have VPN servers located in 63 different countries.  IPVanish allows two simultaneous connections which is great for mobile devices.

You’ll notice options for OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP at the top of the interface.  These let you select which protocol is used to access the servers.  Test each of them out to see which one works best from your location.  For streaming services like HBO NOW we recommend OpenVPN (UDP).  We enjoy the best results using it.

That’s all there is to it.  An IP in the US will unblock access to Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, YouTube, Facebook and many more sites.  Follow us on Twitter @VPNSP for more how-to guides along with VPN reviews and specials.

How to Unblock HBO GO

October 15th update: HBO has announced that they will offer a stand-alone online service.  You will no longer need a cable or satellite subscription to access HBO.  The new online service will launch in 2015.  HBO did not announce a specific date for the launch or cost of the service.  We’ll continue to update with the latest info.

With a new season of our favorite series, Game of Thrones, just around the corner we wanted to provide a guide for accessing HBO GO from anywhere in the world.  If you travel outside of the United States then you probably know there are a lot of online services that block access.  Like Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO and many more.  Yet those with a good VPN service can access them all from anywhere.  We’ll show you how in a moment.

Have you ever tried to access HBO GO from outside the US?  If so this screenshot probably looks familiar:

Unblock HBO GO

Let’s take a look at how easy it is to get around this geographic restriction.

How can a VPN help unblock HBO GO?

Let’s look at how a personal VPN can help you stream HBO GO from outside the United States:

  • VPN helps you to get an IP address from a server in the United States.
  • Your data is then routed through a secure tunnel to protect your online privacy.
  • A fast connection is important for streaming.  A good VPN can support the speed.

A reliable privacy service will allow you to connect to a server in the US and enjoy HBO GO from anywhere in the world.  Allowing you to view the full selection of movies and shows as if you were sitting in the United States.

Connecting to HBO GO with a VPN service

Personal VPN’s are meant to be easy to use.  You’ll want a fast connection for streaming HD content.  There are quite a few companies out there that are good but just can’t meet the bandwidth needs.  Two of our favorites for fast, reliable VPN access are IPVanish and Hide My Ass.  Both have quite a few US server locations.

We’ll be using IPVanish since they have the fastest VPN connections in the United States.   First you’ll want to sign up for access.  IPVanish offers unlimited VPN from just $4.87 a month which is a great value.

IPVanish coupon

After you become a member, IPVanish will send a welcome email with your account information.  From there you’ll want to visit their site and download the VPN client.  IPVanish has free VPN software for Windows and Mac.  They also provide set up guides for iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices.

Once you have the IPVanish client downloaded and installed go ahead and fire it up.

IPVanish Windows 2.0 client

From here you’ll want to choose a US server location that provides the best download speed.  We’ve connected to quite a few of the locations.  It depends on where you are located.  IPVanish ha an expansive network of VPN in the United States so you have a lot of options to choose from.  I like using their server in Ashburn, Virginia.

We’ll keep it non technical.  You can connect to any IPVanish server and switch between them anytime.  They offer locations throughout the United States.  If you want an IP from elsewhere they have VPN servers located in 60 different countries.  IPVanish allows two simultaneous connections which is great for mobile devices.

You’ll notice options for OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP at the top of the interface.  These let you select which protocol is used to access the servers.  Test each of them out to see which one works best from your location.  For streaming services like HBO GO we recommend OpenVPN (UDP).  We enjoy the best results using it.

That’s all there is to it.  An IP in the US will unblock access to Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, YouTube, Facebook and many more sites.  Follow us on Twitter @VPNSP for more how-to guides along with VPN reviews and specials.